Teach English in GuAnlin Zhen - Wuxi Shi

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The use of games in the classroom is an effective teaching method for all types of students. It is beneficial to their increased learning skills by activating reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. When I would teach adult learners at a corporation called Moog, I often used games to engage and activate the students. My favorite game was Jeopardy. I found adults like the competitiveness and ability to learn as their peers attempted to answer questions. My use of games in the classroom increased regular attendance while engaging their mind, body, as well as their need to compete and collaborate. It was effective for me as well in observing and monitoring the learner’s overall comprehension of skills and information they retained. Within the context of the ESL classroom I strongly believe that the incorporation of games will effectively improve the student’s application of communicative and linguistic skills, from both the receptive and productive areas. I plan to use them regularly throughout my lesson plan and even as part of activities for outside of the classroom. I have found that traditional homework assignments that I game adult learners would go unfinished or never even started. However, when I structured the assignment as part of a game or competition, especially with an incentive almost all the learners completed their assignments regularly. Jen Thomas in the Education Week Teacher stated, “In addition to providing an opportunity for review and learning, games make students feel like they have a shot at something.” Anyone of any age can play a game and when it is designed to be fun, educational and specific to your student’s language level, I find it shows them I care to take the time to make learning pleasurable and more impactful. As a result, the times I would have to be firm and push them through traditional teaching and preparation for tests, they seemed to have more motivation to get through. Games for teaching children is especially effective since they are at a pinnacle stage in life where they experience life and learn through interaction and play. For example, a past and present communication board game, Uno or Rummy card game altered to teach nouns, verbs and adjectives or basic child game converted to fit an ESL lesson plan provides opportunity for strategy, creativity and team work to flourish. Resulting in the teacher not being the focal point but a guide or facilitator of knowledge. Students often learn more from their peers, group projects and collaborative games than traditional lectures and instructor focused teaching. It is crucial to keep games as an integral teaching method in my classroom, but to also balance when and what kind of games to offer my students. There can be drawbacks in large groups with confusion or students getting overwhelmed and withdrawing from participation. Also, if it is a communicative game then students noise volume could become disruptive. In addition, if the instructions and teacher’s explanation or monitoring of the game is not clear or well structured, then the game could easily become ineffective. Lastly, teaching games can easily consolidate new knowledge with existing knowledge, after teaching new vocabulary, grammar etc. I also like to ask students to make their own content for a game, in order to evaluate what they know. WORKS CITED Singh, Smriti. (2016). Game Based Language Learning in ESL Classroom: A Theoretical Perspective. ELT Vibes - International E-Journal for Research in English. 2. 20-34. Ferlazzo, L. (2019, May 12). Response: Ways to Use Games Effectively in the Classroom. Education Week Teacher. http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2019/05/response_ways_to_use_games_effectively_in_the_classroom.html?override=web Victoria. (2017, January 4) 10 Benefits to Playing Games in the Classroom. Teach Starter. https://www.teachstarter.com/au/blog/10-benefits-playing-games-classroom/